[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 211 (Wednesday, November 2, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66437-66438]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-21834]


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OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS


Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Modified OGE Form 201 
Ethics Act Access Form

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: After this first round notice and public comment period, OGE 
plans to submit a modified OGE Form 201 to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review and three-year approval under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act. The OGE Form 201 is used by persons for requesting 
access to executive branch public financial disclosure reports and 
other covered records. OGE is proposing three modifications to the 
form: Clarifying the prohibited uses statement; updating the Privacy 
Act Statement summary and the edition date. The modified form will 
replace the existing one.

DATES: Comments by the agencies and the public on this proposal are 
invited and should be received by January 17, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to OGE by any of the following 
methods:
     E-Mail: [email protected]. For E-mail messages, the subject 
line should include the following reference: ``OGE Form 201 Paperwork 
Comment.''
     Fax: 202-482-9237.
     Mail, Hand Delivery or Courier: Office of Government 
Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20005-
3917, Attention: Mary T. Donovan.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary T. Donovan, Office of Government 
Ethics; telephone: 202-482-9232; TDD: 202-482-9293; FAX: 202-482-9237. 
A copy of the proposed modified OGE Form 201 may be obtained, without 
charge, by contacting Ms. Donovan.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Government Ethics is the 
supervising ethics office for the executive branch of the Federal 
Government under section 109(18)(D) of the Ethics in Government Act 
(the Ethics Act), 5 U.S.C. appendix 109(18)(D). OGE is planning to 
submit, after this notice and comment period (with any modifications 
that may appear warranted), a proposed modified OGE Form 201 ``Request 
to Inspect or Receive Copies of SF 278 Executive Branch Personnel 
Public Financial Disclosure Reports or Other Covered Records' for 
review and three-year approval by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). Once finally approved by OMB and 
adopted by OGE, the modified version of this OGE form will replace the 
existing version.
    The OGE Form 201 (OMB control No. 3209-0002), collects information 
from, and provides certain information to, persons who seek access to 
SF 278 reports and other covered records. The form reflects the 
requirements of the Ethics Act and OGE's implementing regulations that 
must be met by a person before access can be granted. These 
requirements relate to information about the identity of the requester, 
as well as any other person on whose behalf a record is sought, and a 
notification of prohibited uses of SF 278 reports. See section 105(b) 
and (c) of the Ethics Act, 5 U.S.C. appendix, section 105(b) and (c), 
and 5 CFR 2634.603(c) and (f) of OGE's executive branchwide regulations 
thereunder.
    Executive branch departments and agencies are encouraged to utilize 
the OGE Form 201, but they can, if they so choose, continue to use or 
develop their own forms as long as they contain all the required 
information.

Proposed Modifications

    First, OGE proposes rewording the prohibited uses statement on the 
form in order to clarify that the submitter's signature denotes 
awareness of the prohibited uses of covered records. In addition, OGE 
proposes moving the

[[Page 66438]]

statement on the form so that it precedes the signature and date block.
    Second, OGE proposes modifying the Privacy Act Statement summary of 
the OGE Form 201. In 2003, OGE updated the OGE/GOVT-1 system of records 
notice (covering Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure 
Reports and Other Name-Retrieved Ethics Program Records, and in which 
completed OGE Form 201s are maintained). See 68 FR 3097-3109, at 3100 
(January 22, 2003). As a result, OGE is modifying the sixth routine use 
listed in the Privacy Act Statement summary in part II of the form. 
Finally, OGE proposes updating the edition date on pages one and two of 
the form.

Reporting Burden

    OGE estimates that an average of 374 OGE Form 201s will be filed 
throughout the executive branch each year by members of the public 
(primarily by news media, public interest groups and private citizens) 
for the next three years. This figure is based on the number of OGE 
Form 201s filed at OGE by members of the public (221 for 2003 and 143 
for 2004) and responses to OGE's annual agency ethics program 
questionnaire (244 for 2003 and 140 for 2004) for a total of 748. That 
number is then divided by two to give the projected annual average of 
374.
    The estimated average amount of time to complete the form, 
including review of the instructions, remains at ten minutes. Thus, the 
estimated annual public burden for the OGE Form 201 (throughout the 
executive branch) is 63 hours (374 form x 10 minutes per form -number 
rounded up). This is an increase from the current burden of 37 hours. 
The current burden accounts for filers whose OGE Form 201s were filed 
each year only with OGE. The proposed estimate of burden hours includes 
OGE Form 201s or equivalent access forms filed by the public with 
departments and agencies throughout the executive branch (including 
OGE).

Web Site Distribution of Blank Forms

    The OGE Form 201 as modified will continue to be made available 
free-of-charge as a downloadable and fillable Portable Document Format 
(PDF) file to the public as well as departments and agencies on OGE's 
Internet Web site at http://www.usoge.gov.
    OGE will continue to permit departments and agencies to use the 
copy of the OGE Form 201 available on OGE's Web site or to develop and 
utilize their own, electronic versions of the OGE form, provided that 
they precisely duplicate the original to the extent possible. Agencies 
can also develop their own access forms, provided all the information 
required by the Ethics Act and OGE regulations is placed on such forms, 
along with the appropriate Privacy Act and paperwork notices with any 
attendant clearances being obtained by the agencies therefor.
    For now, OGE itself accepts filing of a completed OGE Form 201 by 
mail, fax, or in person, but does not permit E-mail or Internet online 
transmission. Similarly, requested copies of reports or other covered 
records are supplied by OGE as hard (paper) copies.

Consideration of Comments

    Public comment is invited on each aspect of the proposed modified 
OGE Form 201 as set forth in this notice, including specifically views 
on the need for and practical utility of this information collection; 
the accuracy of OGE's burden estimate; the enhancement of quality, 
utility and clarity of the information collected; and the minimization 
of burden (including the use of information technology).
    Comments received in response to this notice will be summarized 
for, and may be included with, the OGE request for OMB paperwork 
approval for this proposed modified information collection. The 
comments will also become a matter of public record.

    Approved: October 27, 2005.
Marilyn L. Glynn,
General Counsel, Office of Government Ethics.
[FR Doc. 05-21834 Filed 11-1-05; 8:45 am]
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